Yesterday was my Dad’s 70th birthday. Happy birthday, Dad. My Dad is a kind, hard-working, fit and intelligent guy who can contribute on any topic and can always fit in dessert, no matter how much dinner has already gone down.
Originally we’d planned to celebrate his birthday when they were in Austria earlier this year. Secretly I was entertaining the idea of being in Australia for it. Obviously neither of those things happened. Instead, we had a group Whatsapp call with the family, a mess of technical difficulties and waving kids and laughing and catching up. My mum and I both had a cake and candles to sing happy birthday – and my brother was coincidentally on his way to a birthday party. It was lots of fun. It was also a little bit heartbreaking.
Like many people out there in these times, I am required to take all of my holidays this year. There goes my secret plan of saving them all up and taking 6 months off next year!
This requirement is kind of sucky, because holidays to me generally involve getting on aeroplanes, visiting other countries and changing time zones. And in Covid time there is none of that. I’m used to packing a bag, and packing as much as possible into every day, tasting new and exciting foreign foods, and running on empty. Usually my holidays end with me needing a holiday from my holiday.
I realise it’s a first world problem, because I am thankful to have a job and also to have holidays that I can actually take. So I figured I was better off taking the bulk of them in summer, when the weather was warm.
In a world without COVID-19, this past week would have been very different. On Thursday afternoon, a picture-perfect summer day, I would have picked my parents up and delivered them to our house for their (almost) yearly sojourn to Austria.
There would have been lots of hugs and probably a few tears. We might have had a BBQ on the back terrace, listening about how their trip had gone so far – a cruise from Prague to Berlin – possibly they would have had to deal with colds or other difficulties, but they would be in good spirits because they had finally arrived in Austria.
It was day 52 of self-quarantine, and we finally decided it was time to let ourselves out of the house.
Hubby had already been back at the office for a few weeks, but since there was no need for me to be out, the only thing I’d done was visit the egg farmer. We locked down pretty hard, so the transition back for us hasn’t been as quick as some.
Yesterday morning we got up early, grabbed our already packed suitcases and loaded them into the car for our flight to the UK.
Oh… except that we didn’t.
Yesterday was our 5thwedding anniversary and we had plans to spend a week driving around the gorgeous Welsh coastline, stay in cute BnBs, enjoy English big breakfasts and drink lots and lots of beer/cider/ale on tap.
But instead we found ourselves home, like much of the rest of the world.
It’s been 30 days since we put ourselves in lockdown: 30 days since I went into a shop, 30 days since I had to think about filling the car with petrol, 30 days since I had contact with someone closer than 2-3 metres, 30 days since I wore a bra other than a sports bra (oh, happy days). I drove the car for the first time yesterday, but only to visit the in-laws for an Easter beer in the garden… naturally keeping our distance.
It’s been 10 days since I had close contact with anyone apart from my hubby, visited a shop or left the house for anything but exercise. With Coronavirus’s alleged 5-7 day average for symptoms to show, right now I am fairly comfortable in assuming that we are in the clear. That means we’ve kept ourselves safe, and haven’t contributed to spreading it around
Which is good, because since my post last week we now have reported cases here in my little town. The latest nationwide update brings the total to over 4000.
A lot of people in Australia have been asking me what’s going on here in Austria. Well here’s the latest.